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Posted: July 25, 2020

May work beginning now impact generations to come

Letter to the Editor

Combating racism must be a co-operative effort between all provincial education partners. Together, we are actively listening to people within and outside of our organizations who have faced prejudice and racism. We all have a role to play in our collective commitment to eradicate systemic racism and overt racism in our education system.

What we hear from community members who have lived and observed racism will inform a provincial education action plan and help us understand the steps we need to take within our own organizations to ensure students, teachers, educators, support staff and parents feel safe, respected and welcome in our schools.

There is no place for racism, discrimination or intolerance in our province, in our communities or in our classrooms. Our province is proudly diverse and our schools and our curriculum must proudly support a deep and broad understanding of culture, race and ancestry.

All B.C. public school districts must have codes of conduct and independent school authorities must have policies in place to ensure schools remain free of discrimination against a person based on race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or age of that person or class of persons in alignment with the B.C. Human Rights Code.

The B.C. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, which requires government to take all measures necessary to ensure the laws of B.C. are consistent with the standards set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, will form a key component of the anti-racism strategy moving forward.

It is our hope that the work we are beginning now will have a lasting impact for generations to come.

Rob Fleming, Minister of Education, and the First Nations Education Steering Committee, First Nations Schools Association, BC School Trustees Association, BC Teachers’ Federation, CUPE BC, BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils, BC Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association, BC School Superintendents Association, BC Association of School Business Officials and the Federation of Independent School Associations

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